There are a lot of questions still left to be answered following Microsoft’s announcement that it will acquire Activision Blizzard. But with everyone involved keeping details close to the chest, some details are beginning to emerge, including Phil Spencer’s excitement to dive into Activision Blizzard’s library of retired franchises.
Speaking briefly with The Washington Post Spencer avoided talking about the future of ongoing blockbuster franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft under Microsoft. Instead, Spencer spoke about the overlooked franchises Activision owns that Microsoft will get access to.
“I was looking at the IP list, I mean, let’s go!” Spencer exclaimed. “King’s Quest,’ ‘Guitar Hero.’… I should know this but I think they got ‘HeXen.’”
The 13 Biggest Franchises Microsoft Will Own After the Xbox and Activision Deal
Spencer says once the deal is finalized — it’s expected to close by the summer of 2023 — the Xbox team will speak with its many developers about what possible franchises from Activision Blizzard they might like to work on.
In recent years, Activision Blizzard has pointed its many teams towards key franchises with studios like Toys for Bob now lending support for Call of Duty and Diablo. But this deal could potentially free them to pursue different opportunities within the Xbox Games Studios.
As for the question of what will happen to the big franchises like Call of Duty, Spencer revealed on Twitter just today that he spoke with Sony leadership about keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation. But as with the nature of businesses, the wording is key and even the experts are still deciphering Call of Duty’s future on PlayStation.
Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard: The Story So Far
The Xbox takeover of Activision Blizzard is ongoing, and while legal experts suggest it should pass regulatory muster, there’s still a year between now and when the deal is done. Check out what the Activision Xbox deal means for the games industry by the numbers.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.